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A Bifunctional Hybrid Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Reduction and Evolution: Cobalt Oxide Nanoparticles Strongly Coupled to B,N-Decorated Graphene
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 56(25):7121-7125 Jun 2017

Tong, Yun; Chen, Pengzuo; Zhou, Tianpei; Xu, Kun; Chu, Wangsheng; Wu, Changzheng; Xie, Yi

The electrocatalyzed oxygen reduction and evolution reactions (ORR and OER, respectively) are the core components of many energy conversion systems, including water splitting, fuel cells, and metal–air batteries. Rational design of highly efficient non-noble materials as bifunctional ORR/OER electrocatalysts is of great importance for large-scale practical applications. A new strongly coupled hybrid material is presented, which comprises CoOx nanoparticles rich in oxygen vacancies grown on B,N-decorated graphene (CoOx NPs/BNG) and operates as an efficient bifunctional OER/ORR electrocatalyst. Advanced spectroscopic techniques were used to confirm formation of abundant oxygen vacancies and strong Co−N−C bridging bonds within the CoOx NPs/BNG hybrid. Surprisingly, the CoOx NPs/BNG hybrid electrocatalyst is highly efficient for the OER with a low overpotential and Tafel slope, and is active in the ORR with a positive half-wave potential and high limiting current density in alkaline medium.

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